Egyptian intelligence agencies exposed this past week three armed terror cells in the Sinai peninsula that were working together to carry out a plan to assassinate senior military and police figures, Kuwait newspaper Alrai reported, citing Egyptian officials.
Egyptian security services are currently seeking some 60 people who are suspected of being involved in the plot.
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According to the report, the conspirers planned to kill Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim and Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei.
The officials said that as soon as the plot was exposed the suspects fled to the mountainous areas in Sinai. The suspects, who in the past have operated individually when they attacked sensitive facilities and army and police outposts, have now joined forces with the goal of assassinating those who were behind the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.
One of the targets: Mohamed ElBaradei
Alrai further reported that a Palestinian conspirer who was arrested in Sinai revealed that 12 of the suspects who fled belong to the Palestinian Hamas movement, while the rest are Salafists.
The Egyptian officials said the Islamists planned to arrive in Cairo on the first day of Eid al-Fitr – the holiday marking the end of Ramadan – and carry out the attack on the senior figures' motorcades using grenades obtained from Libyan arms smugglers.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that Egyptian police have arrested 12 Palestinians from Gaza as part of an operation in the city of El-Arish to track down infiltrators. The detainees were transferred to Cairo for further interrogation.
On Sunday, separate attacks by jihadists on army positions in Sinai resulted in the death of two soldiers.
Monday night saw unknown assailants, thought to belong to an extremist religious group in North Sinai, use improvised explosive devices to blow up the shrines of two religious leaders. The first shrine belonged to Sheikh Hamid Abu Jarir, located in the Al-Mughara region of the city of Al-Hassana in Central Sinai, with the second belonging to Sheikh Salim Ashraf Abu Jarir in the Mazar region in the city of Bir Al-Abd.
The attacks were coordinated and took place at the same time, with the assailants fleeing both scenes in four-wheel-drive pickup trucks without license plates.
Over the weekend a senior Egyptian official said 90 suspects, including seven Palestinians, have been arrested over the past month during military operations in Sinai. He said 60 gunmen have been killed, among them 30 Palestinians.
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